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Texans In Tokyo: A Bit Of Stumbling, A Couple Of Medals & More Winning On The Horizon.

This image is a graphic created by KERA for the 2021 Olympics. The background is dark blue. And it features an animation of a torch with a burning fire.
Anita Moti
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KERA

Texas athletes participating in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics faced challenges during the first two days of the competition.

In this weekend's Olympic events Texans faced unexpected losses in weightlifting, archery and fencing. But victories in shooting, swimming and the 3x3 women's basketball competitions excited fans in the Lone Star State.

Archery

Tokyo Olympics Archery
Alessandra Tarantino/AP
United States' Mackenzie Brown releases the arrow during the women's team competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

The USA's archery team entered play with high hopes. And two-time Olympian Mackenzie Brown was supposed to be an integral member of both the Mixed and Women's teams. Sadly though, both of Brown's teams failed to reach medal play.

The Texan still can still medal as an individual. She'll take on Germany in an elimination match on July 28 at 2:26 AM.

Basketball

Allisha Gray
Jeff Roberson/AP
United States' Allisha Gray in action against France during a women's 3-on-3 basketball game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Olympic Basketball is underway and the USA's Women's 3x3 team has been dominant. The gold medal favorite has easily handled most of the competition, but they struggled against the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Sunday.

The team eventually pulled ahead to defeat the ROC thanks to some brilliant defense by the Dallas Wings' star Allisha Gray. She tallied 8 points, 3 blocks.

*Also, if you want to know more about the challenges women are facing this Olympics, Skylar Diggins-Smith from the Women's Basketball team spoke to NPR about them.

Dallas Mavs phenom Luka Dončić is also competing in the Olympics. This weekend, his Slovenian team crushed Argentina.

Boxing

Tokyo Olympics Boxing
Frank Franklin II/AP
Svetlana Soluianova, of the Russian Olympic Committee, right, exchanges punches with Virginia Fuchs from the United States during their women's flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Houston native Virginia Fuchs claimed victory in a bout against Svetlana Soluianova of Russia by 3-2 split decision in the first round of the women's boxing flyweight division.

Fuchs advances on to the round of 16 on July 29 to face Stoyka Krasteva of Bulgaria who defeated Thi Tam Nguyen of Vietnam, also by 3-2 split decision, in the round of 32.

Cycling

Houston's Lawson Craddock competed in the road racing competition this weekend. Craddock finished in 80th place.

The only other American in the competition was Brandon McNulty, he finished in sixth place.

Diving

Former Texas Longhorn Alison Gibson finished in eighth place in the 3-meter synchronized diving competition in Tokyo on Sunday.

Gibson and her diving partner Krysta Palmer started out strong with their first two dives, starting out in first place. But eventually, after their third dive, the pair dropped to sixth place.

Fencing

Tokyo Olympics Fencing
Hassan Ammar/AP
Zhu Mingye of China, right, and Courtney Hurley of the United States compete in the women's individual Epee round of 32 competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Texan Courtney Hurley, a four-time Olympian, lost her women's epee individual match to China's Zhu Mingye.

Courtney's sister Kelly Hurley beat Estonia's Erika Kirpu by a scoreline of 15-14. However, she lost to ROC's Aizanat Murtazaeva 12-11.

The Hurley sisters will still be competing in the Women's team épée. They will be joined on the team by Houston native Anna Van Brummen.

Golf

Former SMU student Bryson DeChambeau had to leave the Olympics after contracting COVID-19.

Gymnastics

APTOPIX Tokyo Olympics Artistic Gymnastics
Ashley Landis/AP
Simone Biles, of United States, performs her floor exercise routine during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The USA's Women's gymnastics team entered the competition as the overwhelming favorites. But for the first time since the 2010 world championships, the Americans did not finish first in qualifiers. They took second to Russia, 171.629 to 170.562.

Rowing

The United States women's eight crew, winner of the event's last three Olympic golds, won its heat Friday to auto-advance to this week's final. Texas Longhorn Gia Doonan is a member of this team and has a chance to bring gold to Texas.

Rugby

The USA won their second pool game in the men's Olympic rugby competition. It was a hard-fought match, but they are now 2-0 and in a good position for the rest of the competition.

Kevon Williams, from Houston, is participating in his first Olympics with USA Rugby.

Shooting

Vincent Hancock
Alex Brandon/AP
Vincent Hancock, of the United States, competes in the men's skeet at the Asaka Shooting Range in the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Vincent Hancock became the first skeet shooter to win three Olympic gold medals with a victory Monday. Hancock won gold in 2008 and 2012, but didn't quite live up to his top-tier standard at the 2016 Rio Games.

The Fort Worth's Olympian hit his first 26 targets in the Tokyo final and set an Olympic record with 59 of 60 overall. He beat Denmark’s Jesper Hanen.

Phillip Jungman, an active duty specialist in the U.S. Army, also competed in the first weekend of events. Jungman placed 15th in men’s shotgun skeet.

Softball

In a game played solely for seeding purposes, the Americans came back from a 1-0 deficit to walk off with a 2-1 victory over Japan.

The win capped a perfect 5-0 round-robin schedule for Team USA, and as the No. 1 seed going into the gold medal game Tuesday.

The Olympics are officially underway in Tokyo, and the Lone Star State is well represented. Here's a list of athletes with Texas ties and when they'll be competing.

Swimming

Two Texans helped the U.S. Olympic swim team set a single-day record for medals won on Sunday in Tokyo.

Natalie Hinds from Midland and Simone Manuel from Sugar Land brought home the Bronze in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay. Hinds is a first time Olympian, she had retired from competition after not qualifying for the 2016 Olympic team. This is the second time around for Manuel.

"This time around I really put my nutrition forward and really prioritized how I mentally attack races and how I prepare for meets and how I talk to myself outside the pool and I do stuff like meditate," Hinds told NBC. "I think those are the really big differences."

UT Longhorn Townley Haas missed the final in the 200m and 400m.

Taekwondo

Three-time Olympian, Paige McPherson (from Abilene) lost to the number one seed during the semifinals. That means she'll be competing for a Bronze medal.

Victoria Stambaugh from the Woodlands was competing for Puerto Rico. And she was eliminated handily in the qualification contest.

Vollyeball

The USA's women’s volleyball team took care of Argentina 3-0 in their opening pool play match. The team was impacted by Coppell native and UT Longhorn Chiaka Ogbogu.

She and her team will face China Monday at 9:05 p.m.

Weightlifting

Tokyo Olympics Weightlifting Women
Luca Bruno/AP
Jourdan Elizabeth Delacruz of the United States reacts to an unsuccessful attempt as she competes in the women's 49kg weightlifting event, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Wylie native Jourdan Delacruz had one of the most heartbreaking showings during the first weekend of the Olympics. She failed to record a successful lift in the clean and jerk event, three times no-lifting at 108 kg.

Many expected she might be the first American to claim a medal at these Olympics. Instead, she watched as others climbed the podium.

Got a tip? Email Hady Mawajdeh at hady@KERA.org. You can follow Hady on Twitter @hadysauce.

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